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To study the mortality and quality of life (QOL) of survivors at 6 yrs after intensive care unit (ICU) admission for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.Prospective, multiple-center cohort study.A total of 86 ICUs throughout Spain.Patients in the Project for the Epidemiological Analysis of Critical Care Patients (PAEEC) project with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were included.The sample comprised 742 patients; 508 of them were admitted for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and 379 of these required intermittent positive-pressure ventilation. The mean age of the patients was 65.2 ± 9.89 yrs, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III score was 66.6 ± 21.04; preadmission QOL questionnaire score was 7 ± 4.82 points, and hospital mortality was 31.8%. At 6 yrs, 32.2% had died after hospital discharge, 21.6% could not be traced, and 107 patients were alive (18.3% of the 582 followed-up patients). QOL of survivors was worse than preadmission (6.55 ± 5.6 vs. 4.92 ± 4.5 points, p < .05), but 72% of patients were self-sufficient. Among the 379 patients admitted to the ICU for acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation and requiring intermittent positive-pressure ventilation, 36.7% died in the hospital; at 6 yrs after hospital discharge, 31.4% had died, 18.7% could not be traced, and 50 patients (16.2% of followed-up patients) were alive. Multivariate analysis with logistic regression showed that the mortality at 6 yrs was related to age (odds ratio, 1.046; 95% confidence interval, 1.023–1.071), APACHE III score (odds ratio, 1.013; 95% confidence interval, 1.001–1.024), and preadmission QOL score (odds ratio, 1.139; 95% confidence interval, 1.078–1.204).The 6-yr mortality of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring ICU admission is high. Mortality is mainly influenced by pre-ICU admission QOL. At 6 yrs, at least 15% are alive; survivors have a worse QOL compared with pre-ICU admission, although three quarters of them are self-sufficient.